Clearly common sense is not with us

Certain companies seem to encourage failure and dissatisfaction, almost like a concious decision. Take for example Nokia. The clear leader for many years in Mobile Phones. Yet somehow they seem to be increasingly getting it wrong at the clear and rapid detriment of the companies finances and market share. I’m a long time Nokia supporter, and while many love the iPhone, I’m not one of those people. It’s not just because it’s made by Apple, but that much of the “great new” features aren’t great, aren’t new, and exist on devices I’ve had for years. Importantly too, they don’t make me choose a particular network or tariff, or have to “jailbreak” them to do what I want with them.

However Nokia seem to be losing it completely lately. First they make a big song and dance of the Nokia N97. I bought one. In theory this should be a worth successor to my Nokia E90 in many ways, as it has a real keyboard, good screen resolution, all the apps I want in general terms, but adds a respectable MP3/Media Player, a proper headphone jack, oodles of storage and a touchscreen.

It sounds good, but the reality it has taken 6 months of firmware updates (and I’m a lucky SIM Free owner so get updates more quickly than network locked folks who form the majority of the ownership base) to fix some blatantly obvious bugs and stupid performance issues. Typical Nokia. Still, I’ve got used to that, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

Anyhow, having my Nokia phone, with 32Gb of storage and great sounding audio (it has been tested to sit level with current iPhone/iPod kit before the iPhone users swear it’s inferior), means I probably like music. I do. I subscribe to Nokia Music Unlimited Streaming. £8.00 a month for unlimited streaming to my PC. Yes, my PC. Not my phone. I can’t use the Nokia Store or Nokia Music Player to stream to my phone. That’s just ass backwards.

It’s ass backwards because Apple iPhone can do it I believe (I’ve never tried, but I’m pretty sure that’s right). It’s ass backwards because surely the NOKIA Music service would be best on NOKIA PHONES. It’s ass backwards because if I had a “comes with music” phone I could in fact download tracks direct to it for a fixed fee as long as I had the subscription.

The trouble is for some reason Nokia only make “Comes with Music” available on a tiny subset of the devices it owns. That’s bad, but worse is that even if the model of phone you want can do it, you can only get that option if you buy a phone which comes with it built in from the beginning. You can’t “add it later” even at a higher price. You can’t add it to several models of phone (including mine) at all it seems. Nokia sort of say (on some pages) it is available in “Comes with Music” variant, but I’ve yet to see it anywhere here in the UK.

Then Spotify comes along and releases a client for Nokia. Personally I think it’s “alright” but I prefer the Nokia setup by miles – especially the choice of music via Nokia. But Nokia loves being ass backwards, so instead I use a third party product to do the job on my phone, good work folks.

Spotify wants £9.99 a month. They’ll let me use it on my laptop, via my Phone and so on.

Nokia wants either £8 a month on my PC and just not available on my phone, or me to choose one of a tiny number of models of phone for £300 odd to get a limited time subscription (not sure what happens afterwards!). The logic is that it gets you more Nokia phone purchases.

Nokia are shooting themselves in the foot. They sell mobiles. They should be making content available first and foremost on mobile platforms. They need to offer a Spotify-a-like option or they’ll suffer the death of the service because frankly nobody will be interested.

So Nokia ,when you get your head out of the silly cloud:

  • Make Streaming a “on phone” thing for the monthly fee.
  • Allow customers to buy “Comes with Music” as a standalone option (call it “Nokia Loves Music” or something)
  • Stop having stupid UIs on your Apps – why does the “playlist” item have to keep disappearing.

Otherwise a certain fruit based company is going to completely eat your market share.

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